Fence artists inspire each other

'Everyone who sees it smiles...'

JANINE RANKIN
Last updated 07:24 07/04/2014
Mural
GRANT MATTHEW/FAIRFAX NZ

ART TO THE STREET: Josh Sauni from Auckland takes part in a Mural Art project in Norton Park.

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What started with an accidental moose is morphing into the largest piece of collaborative urban art attempted in New Zealand.

Artists in Palmerston North for the Pulse Urban Festival at the weekend have begun what could be a year-long task to decorate a 250-metre long fence at Norton Park in Featherston St.

The Roslyn Education and Community Health group Reach wanted the fence painted, and asked Passionart creative director Neil Wallace to do the job.

But Wallace wanted something more imaginative than a simple beautification effort, involving some of the country's top aerosol artists, budding city artists and young people.

And there was already a pink moose in the middle, which he quite liked.

"I don't know who has done it, but we are going to respect that work.

"There is real quality in it, and some thought has gone into the design. And everyone who sees it smiles."

The designs each side of the moose take inspiration from it, and the next will inspire the next, and so the project will grow in both directions.

No sooner had the aerosols come out, than the mystery of the moose was solved.

Previous owner of the house behind the fence, Martin Orange, was on the scene.

He said it had been an awful fence, with some tagging on it, and he asked his mate Daniel Stevens to brighten it up for him.

Stevens obliged, spreading his paints about a year ago.

He was not sure whether he was allowed to do it, but decided to go ahead anyway, and apologise later if anyone complained.

In the spirit of street art, he did not know whether it would last, or inspire someone.

"It might have been tagged the next day, or the council might have covered it over.

"But I love what they are doing with it now."

Stevens said the moose started out as a stag, but grew.

"It was purely for fun, and I liked the absurdity of it, that there should be a moose in Palmerston North."

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- Manawatu Standard

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